In this post I will be sharing you the information on how to upgrade to Windows 10 21H2 using Enablement package through SCCM. Upgrading existing Operating System using Enablement Package is a simplistic approach with minimal downtime as it just enable few features on current operating system which were already present. Though Enablement package upgrades your OS like any other feature update, but it is not actually a feature update as it just activates the features which were in dormant state with previous Operating system.

What is Enablement Package

Enablement Package is a very minimal update package applied to Windows 10 operating system to upgrade your OS to latest version. Usually we need feature update for moving from Old operating system to new which requires 2-3 GB of file size. But with Enablement package this size is drastically reduced to few MB’s or sometimes KB’s.

Windows 10 version 2004, 20H1, 21H1 and 21H2 shares the same core operating system ie the system files remains same. With introduction of every new version, usually new features comes. However, with Windows 10 version 2004 there are new features already cooked inside the image but in disabled state. Theses features can be enabled by using enablement package, hence when Microsoft decides that we can enable the new features, they provide enablement package via WSUS / windows update which not only saves data to download the image but very minimal time to apply new operating system as the foundation of OS remains same. Enablement package is just turning features on which were in disabled state.

Note: Enablement Package is not available via Microsoft Update Catalog. It is available through windows update / Microsoft Update and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS).

Enablement package package installation requires just a single restart as compared to feature update which requires multiple restarts.

Prerequisite to deploying Enablement package for Windows 10 21H2

  • We are assuming that SCCM with Software Update Point is installed. Under \Administration\Overview\Site Configuration\Sites, Configure Site Components > Software Update Point following Products and Classifications are selected:
    Product: Windows 10
    Classification: Upgrades
  • Latest Servicing Stack update (SSU) is installed – SSU is the component which installs Windows Update, it is always recommended to have latest Servicing stack update installed.
  • September 14, 2021 – KB5005565 (OS Build 19041.1237) or a later cumulative update. I would always recommend to have latest cumulative update installed before deploying enablement package.

If you haven’t met the SSU and latest cumulative update requirement, Windows 10 device might not be showing Enablement package as the required update.

You may try to run a one line PowerShell command to find which Enablement package is required:

Get-CimInstance -Namespace root\ccm\softwareupdates\updatesstore -ClassName CCM_UpdateStatus | select status,title | where-object {$_.title -like '*feature*'} | Sort-Object status | ft -auto -Wrap

I ran the command on Windows 10 version 20H2, and found that 21H1 and 21H2 both are applicable and as:

Feature Update to Windows 10 Version 21H1 x64-based systems 2021-05 via Enablement Package
Feature Update to Windows 10 Version 21H2 x64-based systems 2021-11 via Enablement Package
FEature Update PowerShell Command

21H2 Enablement Package is what we will be deploying

Download and deploy Enablement Package

Open Configuration Manager console and navigate to \Software Library\Overview\Windows Servicing\All Windows Feature Updates, search for Enablement Package.

Right click “Feature Update to Windows 10 Version 21H2 x64-based systems 2021-11 via Enablement Package” and select Deploy.

Feature Update Enablement Package

Clicking on Deploy will go through downloading and deploying settings using Deploy Software Updates Wizard.

Under Deploy Software Updates Wizard, General page, provide Deployment Name  as 21H2 Enablement Package and select existing collection

21H2 Enablement Package

On Deployment Settings page, select Type of deployment as Required, click Next.

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On Scheduling page, specify Schedule evaluation, Software Available time and Installation deadline based upon your requirement.

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On User Experience page, under Deadline behavior select Software updates installation and System restart. Under Device restart behavior, suppress the system restart on the following devices for Workstations.

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Under Alerts page, click Next.

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Under Deployment Package page, click on Create a new deployment package and specify:

Name: Enablement Package 21H2
Package source: \\sccm01\Source\Software Update\Enablement Package 21H2

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On Distribution Points page, add the Distribution points and click Next.

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On Download Location page, select Download software updates from the Internet, click Next.

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On Language Selection page, click Next.

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On Download Settings page, let’s go with the default option and click Next.

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On Summary page, verify the setting and click on Next to initiate the download and deploying the feature update enablement package.

EnablementPackage21H2 13

Download will be completed soon.

EnablementPackage21H2 14

You may monitor the downloading through patchdownloader.log located under c:\users\%username%\AppData\Local\Temp

Download destination = \\sccm01\Source\Software Update\Enablement Package 21H2\af5b0642-bb9c-489b-9ead-90d088d11eb7.1\Windows10.0-KB5003791-x64.cab .
Contentsource = http://b1.download.windowsupdate.com/d/upgr/2021/11/windows10.0-kb5003791-x64_73ea2c9804395921aa91a4ceea212a8282b55a84.cab .
Successfully moved \\sccm01\Source\Software Update\Enablement Package 21H2\af5b0642-bb9c-489b-9ead-90d088d11eb7.1 to \\sccm01\Source\Software Update\Enablement Package 21H2\af5b0642-bb9c-489b-9ead-90d088d11eb7
patchdownloader.log

We can see the downloaded enablement package file Windows10.0-KB5003791-x64.cab with just 23 KB of file size.

KB5003791-x64.cab

As we have just deployed a single update, it will be treated Deployment type as Individual, hence you won’t be able to find it under Software Update Groups.

Login to Windows 10 workstation, under Software Center we can see the Feature Update is getting installed via Enablement Package. You can also see the requirement of 21H2 feature with:
Install This update to enable the Windows 10 Version 21H2 feature set for
Windows 10 Version 2004, 20H2 and 21H1 devices. It is only applicable to Windows 10 Version 2004, 20H2 and 21H1 devices that have installed the 2021-09 or later Cumulative Update. After you install this item, you will have to restart your computer.

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Device will get 1 restart which just took few seconds as the package size was pretty small and it is just enabling the existing features rather than actually upgrading the new operating system from scratch.

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Conclusion

Installing the Windows 10 Feature Update using Enablement package is simplistic approach which requires minimum downtime, package download is very small and it requires only one restart. As the features were already built in current Operating System in dormant state, enablement package just toggles the switch to make those features enable.